narrative policy framework, sex offender registration and notification laws, sex offenders, social constructions, Adam Walsh Act, Megan’s Law


Serious scholarly inquiry regarding the role of social constructions and narratives in sex offender management laws is relatively a new undertaking. In the last two decades, a myriad of studies exploring the negative effects of Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN) policies were added to the literature, a trend that appears to be slowing down today. The purpose of this paper is to recommend the integration of the narrative policy framework (NPF) with Schneider and Ingram’s (1993) theory of social construction of target populations in the analysis of SORN policies. The author provides a critical review of SORN policies while deconstructing the stories and messages embedded in their provisions. For the reader’s convenience, this paper also includes brief descriptions of both the NPF and Social Construction of Target Populations. The main argument of this paper highlights the need to modify harmful and scientifically unsupported social constructions in policy narratives in an effort to promote the development of effective and humane policies.

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